UN provides life-saving aid for refugees and migrants in Mexico, as numbers soar |

When life in her country became too dangerous, Natalia* took her children and fled. She managed to get to Mexico via the southern border, but when she arrived in the country, she had no means to provide for herself and her family.

Her story is similar to that of many other desperate people to Mexico, which is increasingly seen as a country of transit and asylum: In 2014, 2,100 people came to the country to claim refugee status. ; Five years later, in 2019, that number has grown to more than 70,000.

Figures drop in 2020, due to travel restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 The pandemic has slowed global migration but between January and November 2021, the country received more than 123,000 asylum requests from people from the Caribbean, Central America and South America (Haiti, Honduras, Cuba, El Salvador, Chile, Venezuela, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Brazil and Colombia).

Natalia and her children are currently supported by the United Nations refugee agency, (UNHCR), found them a safe place to live and provide psychological support. Many others in similar situations are receiving life-saving information and other forms of assistance in camps and facilities working with United Nations agencies in Mexico.

UNHCR staff assist a migrant at the Olympic Stadium in Tapachula, Chiapas, in November 2021.

UNIC Mexico / Luis Arroyo

UNHCR staff assist a migrant at the Olympic Stadium in Tapachula, Chiapas, in November 2021.

Construction on the border

As of July 2021, 70% of asylum requests are concentrated in the border town of Chiapas, which receives daily flights of people deported from the United States under Title 42 (public health order) law. issued in March 2020 by the Trump administration, justifying deportation on the grounds that there was a contagious disease, specifically COVID-19, in the migrant’s country of origin).

Here, the close coordination of UN agencies with Mexican authorities is an important factor in ensuring that people on the move can integrate well with their host and local communities. can prevent discrimination, xenophobia and other forms of denial.

* Not her real name

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